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Date: 01-21-2019

Case Style:

John Blake Pattison v. State of Indiana

Case Number: 18A-CR-1595

Judge: Melinda Bradford

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

Plaintiff's Attorney: Kelly A. Loy
Supervising Deputy Attorney

Defendant's Attorney: William T. Myers
Grant County Public Defender

Description:



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In 2017, Detective Zigler, director of the Joint Effort Against Narcotics Team
Drug Task Force (“JEAN Team”), was conducting an ongoing investigation of
Pattison. On April 7, 2017, Detective Zigler’s CI completed a controlled buy
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 3 of 8

with Pattison, in which he sold the CI 0.88 grams of methamphetamine for
$300.
[3] On April 15, 2017, during a traffic stop, officers placed a GPS tracker on
Pattison’s vehicle pursuant to a search warrant obtained by Detective Zigler.
On April 19, 2017, a search warrant was executed at Pattison’s residence. At
Pattison’s residence, police discovered approximately 1.2 grams of
methamphetamine, approximately 0.81 grams located inside the residence and
0.42 grams located in the garage. Police also discovered three handguns, two
digital scales, two money counters, sandwich baggies and rubber bands, mobile
phones, surveillance equipment, and various drug paraphernalia. That same
day, Pattison was arrested at a nearby gas station and during a search of his
person, police recovered a one-hundred-dollar bill that was used in the April 7,
2017, controlled buy between Pattison and Detective Zigler’s CI.
[4] On April 28, 2017, the State charged Pattison with Count I, Level 3 felony
dealing in methamphetamine; Count II, Level 4 felony dealing in
methamphetamine; Count III, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance;
and Count IV, Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. On October
11, 2017, the State filed an amended Count II, Level 5 felony dealing in
methamphetamine. On January 5, 2018, Pattison moved to sever Count II,
which resulted from the April 7, 2017, controlled buy from Counts I, III, and
IV, which resulted from the April 19, 2017, search of his residence. On January
17, 2018, the trial court denied Pattison’s motion, finding that
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 4 of 8

[w]hile the acts allegedly occurred over a period of twelve days, the charges arose out of a series of acts which were connected, and or detected by police by reason of a continuing surveillance of the Defendant. Furthermore, severance as requested by the Defendant is not necessary to promote a fair determination of the Defendant’s guilt or innocence.
Appellant’s App. Vol. II p. 12. On January 30, 2018, a jury found Pattison
guilty as charged. Pattison was sentenced to eight years with three years
suspended on Count I, two years on Count II, 180 days on Count III, and thirty
days on Count IV, all of those sentences to be served concurrently.
Discussion and Decision
I. Severance
[5] Pattison contends that the trial court erred by failing to sever Count II, Level 5
felony dealing in methamphetamine. Indiana Code section 35-34-1-11(a)
provides that
[w]henever two (2) or more offenses have been joined for trial in the same indictment or information solely on the ground that they are of the same or similar character, the defendant shall have a right to a severance of the offenses. In all other cases the court, upon motion of the defendant or the prosecutor, shall grant a severance of offenses whenever the court determines that severance is appropriate to promote a fair determination of the defendant’s guilt or innocence of each offense considering:
(1) the number of offenses charged;
(2) the complexity of the evidence to be offered; and
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 5 of 8

(3) whether the trier of fact will be able to distinguish the evidence and apply the law intelligently as to each offense.

Accordingly, “if offenses are joined solely because they are of same or similar
character, the defendant has an automatic right to have counts tried separately,
and the trial court has no discretion to deny the defendant’s motion for
severance.” Pardo v. State, 585 N.E.2d 692, 693 (Ind. Ct. App. 1992). When
offenses are not joined solely because they are of the same or similar character,
however, Indiana Code section 35-34-1-11(a) gives the trial court discretion in
determining whether severance should be granted. Chambers v. State, 540 N.E.2d
600, 602 (Ind. 1989), abrogated on other grounds by Fajardo v. State, 859 N.E.2d
1201 (Ind. 2007). Thus in cases involving the latter, severance is generally
within the sound discretion of the trial court and clear error must be
demonstrated for this court to interfere. Id.
[6] The trial court correctly concluded that Pattison’s offenses were not joined
solely because they were of the same or similar character but, rather, because
they arose out of a series of connected acts. The evidence clearly demonstrates
that these offenses were detected by Detective Zigler and the JEAN Team as
part of their ongoing investigation into Pattison’s drug-dealing activity. See
Chambers, 540 N.E.2d at 602 (concluding that denial of severance was proper
even though the acts occurred over a period of time, because they were clearly
detected by police through continuous surveillance of appellant and one of his
customers, which provided ample evidence for the trial court to determine that
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 6 of 8

the drug-related offenses grew out of appellant’s single intention to deal drugs).
Therefore, the decision of whether to sever Pattison’s charges was within the
trial court’s discretion. The record demonstrates that there were only four drug
related charges and that the evidence was not so complex that it would hinder
the jury’s ability to understand and apply it to the law intelligently, nor does
Pattison contest otherwise. Therefore, Pattison has failed to demonstrate that
the trial court’s denial of severance was an abuse of discretion.
II. Sufficiency of the Evidence
[7] Pattison contends that the State produced insufficient evidence to support his
conviction for Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine. When reviewing
the sufficiency of evidence to support a conviction, this court considers only
probative evidence and reasonable inferences supporting the factfinder’s
decision. Young v. State, 973 N.E.2d 1225, 1226 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), trans.
denied. It is the role of the factfinder, not this court, to assess witness credibility
and weigh the evidence. Id. This court will affirm a conviction unless “no
reasonable fact-finder could find the elements of the crime proven beyond a
reasonable doubt.” Id. To convict Pattison of Level 3 felony dealing in
methamphetamine, the State had to establish that Pattison possessed, with the
intent to deliver, methamphetamine and that the amount of the
methamphetamine involved was at least one gram but less than five grams and
an enhancing circumstance applied. See Ind. Code § 35-48-4-1.1(a)(2); Ind.
Code § 35-48-4-1.1(d)(2). Possessing a firearm while dealing in
methamphetamine qualifies as an enhancing circumstance. Ind. Code § 35-48
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 7 of 8

1-16.5(2). Additionally, the State had to establish that “there [was] evidence in
addition to the weight of the drug that [Pattison] intended to deliver or finance
the delivery of the drug.” Ind. Code § 35-48-1-16.5(b). “Intent is a mental state,
and the trier of fact often must infer its existence from surrounding
circumstances when determining whether the requisite intent exists.” Goodner v.
State, 685 N.E.2d 1058, 1062 (Ind. 1997).
[8] We conclude that the State produced ample evidence to establish that Pattison
possessed 1.2 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver. During the
search of Pattison’s residence, police discovered approximately 1.2 grams of
methamphetamine. Police also discovered three handguns (two which were
loaded), digital scales, money counters, sandwich baggies and rubber bands,
mobile telephones, surveillance equipment, and drug paraphernalia. Detective
Zigler testified that these items are often kept together so that drugs can be
packaged quickly and weighed. Moreover, the State presented evidence that
only twelve days prior to the execution of the search warrant on Pattison’s
residence, he dealt approximately 0.88 grams of methamphetamine to Detective
Zigler’s CI. Pattison argues that the methamphetamine found in the living room
was for his personal use only and that the quantity of methamphetamine that
was found in the garage was not sufficient to convict him of Level 3 felony
dealing in methamphetamine. Pattison, however, did not testify to this factual
assertion at trial and, even if he had, the jury would not have been required to
believe it. Pattison’s argument is merely an invitation for us to reweigh the
evidence which we will not do. Young, 973 N.E.2d at 1226. The State produced
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 18A-CR-1595 | January 17, 2019 Page 8 of 8

sufficient evidence to allow the factfinder to conclude that Pattison committed
Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Outcome: The judgment of trial court is affirmed.

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